Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Dawn Berry

Come Dine with me is a programme ostensibly about modern manners and the nation’s eating and entertaining habits, but as with all reality TV, it is unscripted, relies on real people as opposed to actors in order to entertain the public and takes place in people’s homes. The show is enormously popular and has reached the level of cult viewing, largely because it’s researchers pick entertaining characters with forthright views, occasionally boorish tendencies and an eccentric take on what it means to be a host. One of the contestants, Dawn Barry, was voted the best ever contestant of the show because of her erratic behaviour; Dawn killed herself last week aged 38, following a long battle with alcoholism, an addiction that was on display for the world to see on prime time TV. What was it about Dawn that elicited such affection or approval from the audience of Come Dine With Me? When she appeared on the show, she passed out at her own dinner party, went to bed and left the guests to make the food themselves, behaviour that obviously seems to have been entertaining to viewers who were unaware of her illness. Dawn had been desperate to become famous and well known, she had appeared on ITV’s Blind Date and a reality TV show about club reps and appearing on Come Dine With me finally secured recognition in the public eye. What of the production company ITV Studios? They have made over 1,200 editions of the programme and surely are not inexperienced when dealing with the general public and their various needs and problems. The viewing public may not have been aware that Dawn’s erratic behaviour was the result of her drinking, but it would have been virtually impossible for the production company not to have been aware. Was the opportunity to make ‘good TV’ just too alluring? If so then ITV Studios have some soul searching to do. Dawn Barry’s life was not something for bored daytime TV watchers to gawp at, she was a desperately sad and lonely person who had experienced, courtesy of alcohol, drink drive bans and domestic violence. Last week she showed the world that the pain of addiction was too much to bear and she joined the 40,000 people who will die this year from drinking. Most of the time, alcoholics are invisible, they are an either embarrassment or they force the rest of society to confront some awkward questions, and when they aren’t invisible they are either celebrated as folk heroes like George Best or thanked for giving the rest of us a good laugh, like Dawn Barry. Dawn appeared on ‘reality’ TV, but almost no one saw the reality of her life at all, and if there was even a shred of courageous and pioneering TV that focused on addiction in the UK, people who suffer from the illness might become real and understood, not clownish caricatures who’s actual tears are shed away from the camera.
CAIS and Living Room Cardiff embark on new phase in their development 8th October 2013 CAIS and Living Room Cardiff embark on new phase in their development Following a meeting of its trustees, Living Room Cardiff, the major community-based recovery centre for Cardiff and south Wales, has agreed to merge with north Wales-based CAIS Drug and Rehabilitation North Wales and Powys to create one of Wales’ largest addiction therapy providers. Living Room Cardiff, which was first established in 2011, will become a part of the CAIS charity and will remain at its Cardiff location under the stewardship of its Chief Executive, Wynford Ellis Owen. CAIS is a registered charity and leading voluntary sector provider of personal support services in Wales. It helps people who are having problems with addictions, mental health, personal development and employment - as well as offering assistance and information to their families and friends. Its wide range of services includes residential treatment and rehabilitation, counselling, peer mentoring, supporting people in their homes, assisting people back into work or education, group work and other motivational interventions. The Living Room Cardiff has an ‘all addictions’ approach and welcomes anyone who needs support in taking that first step towards recovery or wanting to maintain their on- going recovery. The Living Room Cardiff also welcomes and provides advice and support for family members, partners and friends of people who have been affected by these addictions. Clive Wolfendale, CAIS Chief Executive said, “We are delighted to be working with the Living Room under this merger agreement. We share a very similar vision and ethos. Most of all, I believe together we can bring real energy and creativity to the cause of rehabilitation in Wales.” Wynford Ellis Owen, added, “This is an exciting day for the Living Room Cardiff. It provides us with a solid platform to move forward and deliver our groundbreaking approach to recovery treatment, but also by joining forces with CAIS we can both work together, each with its own remit, to tackle the growing problem of addiction on an all-Wales basis for the first time. “The new structure enables us to build on our successes over the past few years and help even more people to recover from addiction and rebuild normal, productive lifestyles, in the belief that people can and do change.” ENDS For further information please contact Rhodri Ellis Owen at Cambrensis Communications on 029 20 257075 or Rhodri@cambrensis.uk.com 8 Hydref 2013 CAIS a Stafell Fyw Caerdydd yn cychwyn ar gyfnod newydd yn eu datblygiad Yn dilyn cyfarfod o’i ymddiriedolwyr, mae Stafell Fyw Caerdydd, y ganolfan adferiad gymunedol ar gyfer Caerdydd a De Cymru, wedi cytuno i gyfuno gyda CAIS y mudiad cyffuriau ac adferiad yng Ngogledd Cymru a Phowys i greu un o ddarparwyr therapi mwyaf ar gyfer dibyniaeth yng Nghymru. Bydd Stafell Fyw Caerdydd, a gafodd ei sefydlu yn 2011, yn dod yn rhan o’r elusen CAIS a bydd yn parhau yn ei leoliad bresennol yng Nghaerdydd o dan arweiniad ei brif weithredwr, Wynford Ellis Owen. Mae CAIS yn elusen gofrestredig ac yn arwain yn y maes o ddarparu gwasanaethau cymorth personol yng Nghymru. Mae’n helpu pobl sy’n cael problemau gyda dibyniaeth, iechyd meddwl, datblygiad personol a gwaith – yn ogystal â chynnig cymorth a gwybodaeth i’w teuluoedd a’u ffrindiau. Mae ei ystod eang o wasanaethau yn cynnwys triniaethau preswyl, cynghori, mentora gan gyfoedion, cefnogi pobl yn eu cartrefi, helpu pobl ddychwelyd i fyd gwaith neu addysg, gwaith grŵp, ynghyd â mathau eraill o annogaeth cefnogol personol. Mae Stafell Fyw Caerdydd yn trin â phob math o ddibyniaeth ac yn croesawu unrhyw un sydd angen cymorth naill ai i gymryd y cam cyntaf tuag at adferiad neu sydd eisiau help i gynnal eu hadferiad. Mae Stafell Fyw Caerdydd hefyd yn croesawu ac yn cynnig cyngor a chefnogaeth i deulu, partneriaid a ffrindiau pobl sy’n dioddef o ddibyniaeth. Dywedodd Clive Wolfendale, Prif Weithredwr CAIS, “Rydyn yn hynod o falch i gyd-weithio gyda Stafell Fyw Caerdydd ar y cytundeb cyfuno hwn. Rydyn yn rhannu gweledigaeth ac ethos tebyg iawn. Yn fwy pwysig fyth, rwy’n credu y gallwn, gyda’n gilydd, ddod ag egni a chreadigrwydd gwirioneddol i achos adferiad yng Nghymru.” Ychwanegodd Wynford Ellis Owen, “ Mae’n ddiwrnod cyffrous i Stafell Fyw Caerdydd. Mae’n rhoi sylfaen gref i ni i symud ymlaen i ddarparu ein harddull torri tir newydd ni o drin adferiad. Hefyd drwy gyfuno gyda CAIS gallwn gydweithio, gyda’n gorchwylion ein hunain, i fynd i’r afael â’r broblem gynhyddol o ddibyniaeth am y tro cyntaf ar draws Cymru yn ei chyfanrwydd. “Mae’r strwythur newydd yn ein galluogi i adeiladu ar ein llwyddiannau dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf ac yn helpu hyd yn oed mwy o bobl i adfer o ddibyniaeth ac ail-adeiladu bywydau normal a chynhyrchiol, yn y gred fod pobl yn gallu ac yn llwyddo i newid.” DIWEDD Am wybodaeth bellach cysylltwch â Rhodri Ellis Owen yn Cambrensis Cyf ar 029 20 257075 neu Rhodri@cambrensis.uk.com